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Mechanicsburg coach Gail Hiestand had no idea her players knew she was one win away from reaching 100.
Ask any of the Wildcats players, though, and they’ll tell you they had it all planned out.
After losing Tuesday in extra innings to Middletown, Mechanicsburg bounced right back, beating Lower Dauphin, 10-5, at Lower Dauphin High School. And while the win was No. 100 for Hiestand, she was more quick to point out the achievement of her players on that day.
It was the first time the Falcons suffered a division loss in seven years, a time frame that spanned more than 90 games.
“Coming in, I could just see it in their eyes that they knew they could beat this team,” Hiestand said. “When we bring our best pitching, hitting and defense, we can beat anyone. That’s what we did.”
The Wildcats (11-5, 7-4 Keystone) came back from a 3-1 deficit with four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. Amber Schuman had two hits, including a double, and five RBIs, while Morgan Minter added two hits, two runs and two RBIs.
In the fifth inning with Mechanicsburg holding a 9-4 lead, Lower Dauphin (10-3, 9-1) loaded the bases with just one out. Shannon Bonner came on in relief and got the next two hitters to ground out, limiting the damage to just one run.
From there, Bonner allowed just one hit over the final two innings, preserving the milestone victory for Hiestand.
“I was just so happy for the girls,” she said. “Beating Lower Dauphin and getting 100 wins in the same night, I couldn’t write a better scenario.”
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Lower Dauphin coach Ken Kulina had a feeling that Wednesday’s matchup with Mechanicsburg was going to be pretty high scoring. After both team’s combined for five runs on seven hits in the first inning, it was looking like he might be right.
However, with just two weeks left in the regular season and first place in the Mid-Penn Keystone up for grabs, Kulina was in no mood to watch both sides trade runs. Instead, he went to relief pitcher Blair Lewis to start the second inning.
After that move, Kulina didn’t have to worry about the Wildcats scoring anymore.
Over the final six innings, Lewis kept Mechanicsburg scoreless, surrendering just two hits and helping the Falcons run away with a 9-3 win at Rickenbach-Shirley Field at Memorial Park.
Kulina knew that making such a quick move to the bullpen could be a risky one, but afterward he was more than pleased with the way it turned out.
“I just thought they had a really good read on our starter,” Kulina said. “At this point in the season, we can’t wait too long. Especially when we started to get some runs out there, I’m thinking that we can’t keep playing catch up.
“I didn’t know that it was going to be that inning. It was just a gut feeling that I had.”
Lewis, who started the day as the DH, said he didn’t anticipate that he was going to be pitching when the day first started, but after Mechaincsburg (14-4, 8-3) erased a two-run lead in the first with three of its own, Kulina told he to get ready.
The righty gave up a hit in the third, but settled in from there. After a leadoff error in the fourth, Lewis retired the next nine batters he faced.
In the seventh inning, the Wildcats loaded the bases with two outs, but Bobby Mentzer — who came to the plate batting 2-for-3 on the day — grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the threat and the game.
“I was just throwing strikes and they were putting it into play right at my fielders,” Lewis said. “I can’t ask for anything better than that.”
Lower Dauphin (12-4, 9-1) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after tacking on three hits in the first inning. Deon Stafford drove in Jake Shellenberger from second on a long double to left center field before Marshal Kiessling sent him home on a single.
In the bottom half, Mechanicsburg took the lead right back on four straight two-out hits. Mentzer drove in Dustin Daihl on a single up the middle and two batters later, Zach Ross sent a two-run triple into the gap in left center to put the Wildcats up 3-2.
That would be all they would get, though. Mechanicsburg hit just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position from the second inning on, stranding six runners on base. Its lead was also short-lived, after the Falcons struck for four more runs in the second.
“It took the wind out of our sails a little bit when we came back to take the lead then they came back and got a bunch on us,” Wildcats coach Clay McAllister said. “That’s twice we’ve played them this year and that’s twice they’ve gotten after us pretty early.”
Lower Dauphin finished the day 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Kiessling went 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs for the Falcons, while Shellenberger added three hits and scored twice.
The win puts the Falcons in sole possession of first place in the Keystone Division. They now control their own destiny at regaining the division title after missing out last season.
However, with the way the Keystone has played out so far, Kulina knows the Falcons still have a long way to go before they can worry about a division championship.
“In this division, there really is no such thing as the driver’s seat,” he said. “Coming into the season, anybody could beat anybody. We’re taking it one game at a time.
“This was a great game, but we have three this week. Now, we have to keep this momentum going.”
FALCONS 9, WILDCATS 3
Lower Dauphin 240 300 0 — 9 11 2
Mechanicsburg 300 000 x — 3 6 2
LOWER DAUPHIN (ab-r-h-rbi) – Jake Shellenberger, rf, 4-2-3-1, Aaron Kline, ph, 1-0-0-0, Blair Lewis, dh-p, 3-1-1-1, Drew Patterson, ph, 1-0-0-0, Kaylor Kulina, ss, 3-2-1-1, Deon Stafford, c, 3-2-2-2, Marshal Kiessling, 3b, 3-0-3-4, Chad Stine, 1b, 3-0-0-0, Kyle Fails, lf, 4-0-1-0, Jeff Light, cf, 4-1-0-0, Jason Shellenberger, 2b, 3-1-0-0, Corey Atkins, ph, 1-0-0-0. Totals: 33-9-11-9.
MECHANICSBURG – Joe Hennessy, cf, 4-0-0-0, Andrew Spanos, p-lf, 3-0-0-0, Dustin Daihl, 1b, 4-1-2-0, Bobby Mentzer, c, 4-1-0-0, Parker Beatty, rf, 3-1-1-0, Zach Ross, 2b, 3-0-1-2, Marc Hershey, ss, 3-0-0-0, Ben Dubas, dh-p, 2-0-0-0, Brian Kessler, ph, 0-0-0-0, Colin Farnham, 3b, 3-0-0-0. Totals: 29-3-4-2.
3B — Mechanicsburg, Zach Ross. 2B — Lower Dauphin, Kaylor Kulina, Deon Stafford, Marshal Kiessling.
Lower Dauphin pitching: Luke Lingle 1 inn., 4 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned, 0 BB, 0 SO; Blair Lewis (W) 6 inn., 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 BB, 5 SO. Mechanicsburg pitching: Andrew Spanos (L) 1.2 inn., 5 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned, 2 BB, 1 SO; Ben Dubas 2.1 inn., 5 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned, 0 SO, 0 BB; Thomas Heenan 3 inn., 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 B, 1 SO.
For the full article and photos of the game, click here.
It was a situation Mechanicsburg was familiar with.
After regaining the lead in the sixth inning, the Wildcats let the winning run come to the plate with two outs, mirroring Thursday’s contest against Palmyra. However, just as the Cougars did before them, the Polar Bears left the tying run on base and Mechanicsburg pulled off another late win, 7-5, Monday evening at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School.
While the late-inning drama is nothing easy to watch for any coach, if the outcome continues to remain the same, that’s all that matters for Wildcat coach Gail Hiestand.
“I’m so proud of the constant composure,” Hiestand said. “This is a young team, but they don’t play young. They play with a lot of confidence and let plays go if something goes wrong and just move on to the next play.”
Mechanicsburg (9-3) broke a 5-5 tie in the sixth thanks to some timely hitting and a little help from Northern (7-5) defensively. With one out, Jordan Hertz followed an Alyssa Dietz single with one of her own. The throw to first was wild, sending both runners into scoring position.
One batter later, Erica Molovich knocked Dietz in on a fielder’s choice. On the throw back to the pitcher, the ball got away, allowing Taylor Clark to score from third, giving the Wildcats an insurance run.
It was one that Hiestand saw as extremely important.
“They kind of threw the ball away and Taylor was smart on the bases,” Hiestand said. “I’d much rather go into the seventh inning with a two-run lead instead of one. Things like that, this team capitalizes on anything the other team will give us.”
In the seventh, the Polar Bears got the tying runs on base thanks to a leadoff walk by Lexi Waddell, and a throwing error allowed Rachel Seik to get on. But reliever Maddie Garrick worked out of the jam, getting the next two hitters out and preserving the win.
Garrick came on in the third after starting pitcher Shannon Bonner ran into some trouble. Northern had already scored five runs on five hits — two being triples from Carissa Martin and Sam Miller — in the frame to take its first lead and was threatening for more.
Instead, Garrick came on with two outs and induced a fielder’s choice to put an end to the inning. From there, the sophomore hurler never lost rhythm, never allowing another hit and striking out four.
“I just needed her to throw strikes,” Hiestand said. “She was able to get ahead in the count early and was able to work. She got them to chase a few of her pitches which helped us. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Aside from the big third inning, Northern managed just one hit, a leadoff double in the second by Courtney Keefer. There were five times that the Polar Bears had runners reach scoring position, but couldn’t do anything with it, combining to go 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
“They just didn’t have it,” Northern coach Jess Rhoads said. “They showed up like they were just going to walk all over somebody, and then just didn’t do it. They did it one inning and then just thought that was it.”
Dietz and Hertz finished the day with three hits apiece, while No. 9 hitter Brooke Libhart added three of her own with a run scored. Morgan Minter had a two-run double for Mechanicsburg in the third.
Now, after getting shut out a week ago to Susquehanna Township for the first time all season, the Wildcats look to be back on track after two nail-biting wins. For Hiestand, it doesn’t matter how they come, just as long as the end result continues to look the same.
“There were some plays which they didn’t execute well and we were able to score,” she said. “This team capitalizes on anything the other team will give us.”
For the full article & photos of the game, click here.
LEWISBERRY — No one said it ever had to be pretty, Red Land coach Jason Munns will be the first to admit that. On Monday, the Patriots may have not played it exactly as scripted, but the end result was all Munns was looking for.
Red Land jumped out to an early six-run lead after the first two innings against Mechanicsburg. With the way both sides were playing, that lead was hardly enough to be a lock. In a game that both teams combined for 31 hits and nine errors, the Patriots managed to hold on for a 16-14 win, handing Mechanicsburg its first loss of the season in the process.
Despite giving the lead away in the fifth inning, Red Land (4-2) kept its composure, getting enough out of its offense to gut out a win.
“We talk about the mental game constantly,” Munns said. “We talk about all the distractions, when you’re behind and when you’re ahead. Fortunately it seems to be paying off for us and our girls haven’t lost focus yet.”
Even with 16 runs on the board, the Patriots still had to hold off a late rally from the Wildcats (4-1), who got the go-ahead run to the plate in the seventh.
With one out, Mechanicsburg cleanup hitter Erica Molovich drove a long double into right field — her third of the game. After a groundout got her to third, Amber Schuman, Maddie Garrick and Morgan Minter delivered consecutive singles, turning a four run deficit in just two.
Maggie Hahn, who had come in to relieve starting pitcher Alyssa Munns in the fifth, put an end to any comeback hopes for the Wildcats. Hahn got ahead of No. 9 hitter Brooke Libhart 1-2 before inducing a tough groundout to second base to end the game.
“A lot of teams when their down 7-1 and commit a lot of errors, a lot of teams would fold,” Mechanicsburg coach Gail Hiestand said. “We didn’t fold. What was uncharacteristic of us was we gave up 10 runs on errors or passed balls.”
Errors plagued the Wildcats all game, as they committed a total of seven on the afternoon. With the bases loaded in the first inning, Red Land cleared the bases on three passed balls to the backstop.
Then in the third, the Patriots benefitted from three Mechanicsburg errors, tacking on another three runs to take the lead back after giving it up in the top half of the inning.
Red Land scored in every inning, tallying at least three runs in four of its six trips to the plate. Its biggest blow came in the second, when right fielder Reaghan Gettys drove one way over the center field fence for a two-run home run. After surrendering five runs in the first, Mechanicsburg looked like it might get out of the second unscathed. But Gettys blast — her second in as many games — changed all that.
“This game shows that our offense is still working,” Jason Munns said. “We hit the ball well today.”
After the Patriots we able to regain the lead in the fifth, despite coming close a few times, they never relinquished it. Neither side played its A game, but it was Red Land that was able to make the plays in the end to pull out a win. And while the defense wasn’t spectacular, the Patriots made the plays when it counted in the seventh to hold on for the win.
And that’s all Jason Munns can ask for.
“This year, we’ve been in three slug fests,” he said. “We’ve been in a couple close games. I’m very happy with the amount of focus they’ve been able to maintain game by game and collectively through the season thus far.”
PATRIOTS 16, WILDCATS 14
Mechanicsburg 105 051 2 — 14 20 7
Red Land 523 033 x — 16 11 2
MECHANICSBURG (ab-r-h-rbi) – Alyssa Dietz, 3b, 5-1-4-2, Kirstie Shay, 2b, 4-1-1-1, Taylor Clark, ss, 5-2-3-1, Erica Molovich, 3b, 5-2-4-3, Jordan Hertz, lf, 5-1-1-2, Amber Schuman, c, 5-0-2-1, Kelsi Sullivan, cr, 0-2-0-0, Shannon Bonner, p, 1-1-0-0, Maddie Garrick, p, 3-1-2-0, Morgan Minter, 1b, 5-1-2-1, Brooke Libhart, rf, 4-2-1-1. Totals: 42-14-20-12.
RED LAND – Madi Christiansen, ss, 3-4-0-0, Maggie Hahn, cf, 3-0-1-0, Kiana Lanker, cr, 0-1-0-0, Alissa Robinson, 3b, 5-3-2-1, Sydney Boreman, 1b, 5-1-2-1, Reaghan Gettys, rf, 5-2-2-2, Miranda Zettring, 2b, 3-1-0-0, Cassidy Camplese, c, 3-0-1-0, Kylie Chubb, cr, 0-2-0-0, Alyssa Munns, p, 3-1-1-0, Brittany Carroll, lf, 3-1-1-0, Hanna Thomas, ph, 0-0-0-0. Totals: 33-16-10-4.
HR — Red Land, Reaghan Gettys. 3B — Red Land, Madi Christiansen. 2B — Mechanicsburg,Alyssa Dietz 2, Taylor Clark 2, Erica Molovich 3.
Mechanicsburg pitching: Shannon Bonner 2 inn., 8 hits, 7 runs, 7 earned, 0 SO, 2 BB; Maddie Garrick (L) 4 inn., 3 hits, 9 runs, 1 earned, 5 SO, 6 BB. Red Land pitching: Alyssa Munns 4.2 inn., 13 hits, 9 runs, 9 earned, 1 SO, 2 BB; Maggie Hahn (W) 2.1 inn., 7 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned, 0 SO, 1 BB.
21 Mechanicsburg student-athletes made their college choices official on Wednesday, February 13 during the annual Signing Day. See below for the complete list. Congratulations!
|Last Name||First Name||Sport||School|
|Luker||Karli||Soccer||Penn State Berks|
Article by Christopher Hopkins, The Sentinel/Photography by Michael Bupp, The Sentinel
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For much of the season, Mechanicsburg has been very streaky with its success. The Wildcats have shown two different sides of themselves and with that, enter the final stretch of the season on the bubble for the District 3 Class AAAA playoffs.
On Monday, the Wildcats made a strong push to show that their true identity is a playoff-caliber team, as they beat Boiling Springs, 9-3.
“The girls know that this week is make or break for the playoffs,” Mechanicsburg coach Gail Hiestand said. “We had a tough week two weeks ago. I was worried how we would bounce back last week and to go 3-0 last week, then continue this week is huge.”
Both team’s pitchers came out firing on Monday, with Mechanicsburg (9-6, 8-5 Keystone) sending out freshman Maddie Garrick against the Bubblers’ (11-5, 8-2 Capital) senior Julia Fitting.
Neither pitcher gave way until the fourth inning, when Boiling Springs rallied for the first run of the day.
With two outs, Annie Purvis roped a double to center field that one-hopped off the wall. After a walk and a hit by pitch, Becca Gelsner hit a ball back to the pitcher. Garrick threw home, but Purvis beat the throw, putting the Bubblers up 1-0.
The lead would be short lived however, as things got ugly for the Bubblers in the fifth in more ways than one.
Fitting got designated player Corrie Tucker to strike out to lead off the inning, but the ball got away from the catcher, allowing Tucker to reach first. The inning got away from the Bubblers after that.
Fitting was forced to leave the game four batters later after a line drive struck her just above the eye. She would be OK, but the Bubblers had to go to freshman Kim Rogers to finish the game with the bases loaded and no outs in a 1-1 ballgame — a tough spot to be without Fitting, who has thrown all but two innings for Boiling Springs to that point.
The Wildcats kept the rally going, scoring eight runs in the inning behind seven hits, as they sent 12 hitters to the plate.
“The fifth inning is always our favorite inning,” Hiestand said. “We always say ‘hit in the fifth.’ We came into a huddle and just said that this is our inning. We messed around too much. I just told them that we need to bust it open right now. They listened.”
The Bubblers came back in the bottom half of the fifth with a run of their own, thanks to a double by Taylor Malinish and an RBI single from Delaney Gitt.
Boiling Springs could never really get anything going offensively all day. Despite reaching base in every inning but the second, the Bubblers couldn’t get much production from their bats. Coach Steve Darchicourt was unsure why his lineup couldn’t come through with runners on base Monday.
“We had a good practice yesterday,” Darchicourt said. “They were ready to go and doing well in their warmups today. Normally they bring their “A” game, but today was just one of those days.”
The game entered the bottom of the seventh with the Wildcats up 9-2. The Bubblers again threatened to put a rally together after back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, but they couldn’t do much with it, as Garrick got out of the inning after surrendering just one run on a passed ball.
Hiestand was proud of her freshman hurler’s day in the circle. Garrick finished with six strikeouts and never allowed Boiling Springs to score more than once in an inning.
“When you throw a freshman out on the mound, you have to deal with some young mistakes sometimes,” Hiestand said. “What I’ve been trying to instill in her is that she doesn’t win the game and she doesn’t lose the game. She has teammates behind her. We send her out there and just try to throw strikes. She had a really strong game today.”
The Wildcats entered Monday just on the outside of qualifying for the District 3 playoffs. After going 3-0 last week, Mechanicsburg has put itself in much better shape to make a run and is looking to keep that streak alive for as long as they can. With playoffs right around the corner, it couldn’t come at a better time.
“Every week is big, but I told them that this week is the biggest right now,” Hiestand said. “This team’s goal is to go to playoffs and they’re working real hard to get there right now.”
Article by Andy Sandrik, The Sentinel
For the full article, click here.
New season, new team, same dream. That’s the motto of the Mechanicsburg softball squad.
The Wildcats, who have had their share of struggles this season, kept their dream – making the District 3 Class AAA playoffs – alive and well with Thursday afternoon’s 14-0 mercy-rule victory over Mid-Penn Keystone Division opponent Harrisburg.
Mechanicsburg (5-5, 5-4 Keystone) took an 8-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back against mistake-prone Harrisburg, which dropped to 4-5 overall and 3-5 in the Keystone Division.
“From what I know, Harrisburg was a team that we could not take lightly,” Wildcats coach Gail Hiestand said. “I expected to win, and I was hoping to win, but I didn’t think it would be this lopsided or easy.”
Early on, the game was anything but easy for Mechanicsburg starting pither Kaitlin Rutt, who found herself in the danger zone in the first inning after allowing a hit and a walk to the first two batters. Harrisburg’s third batter, Quencey Hickerson, grounded to Rutt, who fired to third in her bid to get the forceout. The runner at third was ruled safe, but she overran the bag and was called out.
Rutt then got two quick outs to get her team out of the inning and into the game. It was all Mechanicsburg from that point forward.
“I knew that I had my team backing me up,” said Rutt, who fired five shutout innings, allowing just two hits while striking out six. “I just wanted to throw the ball in the strike zone and let my team make plays.”
By the end of the first inning, Rutt had herself a mammoth lead, thanks to an offense that crunched out five hits and capitalized on two Harrisburg errors. Mechanicsburg got RBI knocks in the inning from Olivia Carl, Jaimie Wharton, Morgan Wilt, Rebecca Dubas and Katey Day.
“Mechanicsburg played well, but we didn’t have any defense,” Harrisburg coach Des Mangus said. “Once they got ahead, that was it.”
Rutt breezed through the second inning, and her team scored two more runs, this time with RBI plate appearances from Wilt and Alyssa Dietz.
It was three-up, three-down for Rutt in the third inning, thanks to a fine 4-3 double play orchestrated by second baseman Carly Day, who snatched a line drive and doubled up the runner at first.
Rutt fired her first perfect inning of the game in the fourth, and her team got her four more runs in the bottom of the inning, including a two-run triple from Dubas.
“We hit the ball and put it in play; we got a few breaks as well,” Hiestand said. “With four games next week, we wanted to throw ‘K’ a little bit and get her some confidence … She threw a great game.”
With her team leading 14-0, all Rutt had to do was get her team through the top of the fifth to earn the victory. It was easier said than done.
Rutt walked the bases loaded, but came away unscathed after striking out Hickerson to end the contest.
“That last inning was tough,” Rutt said. “My pitches were a little bit off. I kept thinking, ‘I’ve just got to end it here.’”
Rutt finished with a complete-game shutout, and her team got a boost of confidence that it badly needed.
“Absolutely, this was a big win,” Hiestand said. “We had a disappointing start, but we’re hoping to have it turned around halfway through the year … Our dream is to make the playoffs, and we’re certainly capable.”
“We’ve got five games next week,” Rutt said, “and we’re going to go in thinking we can win all of them.”
Notes: Mechanicsburg was led in batting by Dubas (2 for 3, triple, 3 RBIs), Carly Day (2 for 4, run, RBI), Carl (2 for 4), Wharton (2 for 3, 2 runs) and Hanna Bennett (2 for 3, 2 runs) … Harrisburg only got two hits, both of which came from leadoff batter Ariel Snell … The Cougars have four wins this season, which equals their win total from last year.
WILDCATS 14, COUGARS 0 (5 inn.)
Harrisburg 000 00 – 0 2 4
Mechanicsburg 820 4X – 14 12 1
Ariel Snell, p, 3/0/2; Kira Waters, c, 1/0/0; Quencey Hickerson, cf, 3/0/0; Lexus Allen, ss, 2/0/0; Caila Butler, 1b, 2/0/0; Rockie Perry, 3b, 2/0/0; Justina Cruz, rf, 2/0/0; Nieko Browning, 2b, 1/0/0; Karmecia Singleton, ph, 0/0/0; Teeyiah Thompson, lf, 1/0/0. TOTALS 17/0/2.
Rebecca Dubas, 3b, 3/1/2; Katey Day, rf, 1/1/1; Morgan Minter, ph, 1/1/0; Carly Day, 2b, 4/1/2; Olivia Carl, c, 4/0/2; Jaimie Wharton, ss, 3/2/2; Kaitlin Rutt, p, 2/1/0; Kelsi Sullivan, cr, 1/2/0; Hanna Bennett, 1b, 3/2/2; Morgan Wilt, dp, 2/1/1; Nicole Vasiliu, dp, 1/1/0; Alyssa Dietz, cf, 2/1/0. TOTALS 27/14/12.
Doubles: Mech – Wilt, C.Day. Triples: Mech – Dubas. RBI: Mech – Dubas 3, Wilt 3, K.Day, C.Day, Carl, Wharton. Harrisburg pitching: Snell (L) 4 inn., 14 runs, 5 earned, 12 hits, 4BB, 3SO. Mechanicsburg pitching: Rutt (W) 5 inn., 0 runs, 2 hits, 4BB, 6SO.
Article by Jeff Dewees, The Patriot-News
For the full article, click here.
Lower Dauphin opened its 2011 softball campaign with a five-inning 12-2 win over Mechanicsburg Wildcats, a Mid-Penn Keystone division rival.
The Falcons (1-0, 1-0 Keystone) pounced on six errors by Mechanicsburg (0-2, 0-1), opening the door to a 9-0 lead through three innings.
Casey Alcorn started in the circle for LD and went the first three, giving up one hit. Megan Donlan pitched the final two frames. Alcorn — playing her first high school varsity game without big sister and three-time Big 11 selection Lauren by her side — hit a huge three-run double in the bottom of third off Mechanicsburg starter Hannah Bennett to blow the game open.
“I’m very happy,” LD head coach Steve Alcorn said. “The girls came ready to play. I love this group. They’re a great bunch of girls and they’re all gamers. There’s a lot of young talent here — a lot of girls who want to play and want to learn. And that’s exciting to me as a coach.
“We were aggressive at the plate, and I thought they settled in nicely.”
Bennett was rocked in the third but didn’t pitch all that poorly. Rather, it was the defense behind her that had trouble making plays. It’s something Mechanicsburg head coach Gail Heistand would like to see get straightened out, as her team suffered its second mercy-rule loss in three days.
“The biggest thing for us is doing the little things,” Heistand said. “We gave away too many things today. And a team like Lower Dauphin, you give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. Our goal today was to not give them anything; make them earn it. But we didn’t do that.”
LD took a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Leah Palm and Jess Stuart and stretched it to 3-0 in the second on a double steal and a throwing error.
The Falcons plated six in third, highlighted by Alcorn’s bases-clearing triple and a two-run single by Megan Saich.
Mechanicsburg scratched out two against Donlan in the top of the fourth. But the Falcons finished them off with three in the bottom of the fifth, capped when Palm crossed the plate with the 12th run on an infield miscue.